The King Returns. Cambodians pay their respects to the late King Norodom Sihanouk.
Former Cambodian King Norodom Siahnouk died in Beijing on October 15, 2012 aged 89. On Wednesday October 19, a motorcade bearing his body made a slow journey from Phnom Penh International Airport to the Royal Palace, past streets lined with hundreds of thousands of Cambodians.
The 'King Father' was without doubt the most widely and deeply revered leader the country has had since independence from France in 1953, and the outpouring of grief today was evidence of this. During his long life, Sihanouk served as king, led his country to (peaceful) independence, abdicated twice, allied himself with a dizzying array of disparate political groups and factions, and also directed and starred in a number of films. Most Cambodians I have spoken to see no contradictions in any of this, and argue that throughout his life Sihanouk acted in the best interests of his country and people.
Oct 17, 2012